Why is the Microbiome so important

Most people have by now heard of the “microbiome” – the vast ecosystem of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live in and on all living things.

Long thought to be “harmless” bacteria with no real function, it is now known that microbiome communities are critical to maintaining health – not just in the gut, where the biggest microbiome lives, but even in areas outside the gut.

In fact, the gut microbiome is often called the “New Organ” because of its many vital interactions with the rest of the body1,2.

Improving health through microbiome modulation is now a focus of medical research in human health – but pets have microbiomes too3!

Like any other organ, though, a microbiome can exist in a state of health, where it supports the rest of the body and protects it from outside influences. A healthy microbiome is stable and resilient – and naturally resistant to microbiome-associated disorders (in pets, these include digestive, allergic, skin/coat, and behavioral issues).

But like any other organ, microbiomes can become “sick,” or “dysbiotic.” This occurs when the microbiome becomes imbalanced – when too many dangerous microbe-produced substances build up in the gut. Human diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s4 to Zika virus5 all involve “sick” microbiomes, which set the stage for genetic and environmental impacts to grow severe.

Those same toxic microbial compounds are found in imbalanced pet microbiomes as well.

And what’s recently been learned is that it’s those deleterious molecules – not the families of bacteria that are present – that drives the damaging potential of a sick microbiome6. So, fighting those molecules is a very sensible way to protect an unhealthy microbiome and support it back to health.

How does a microbiome get imbalanced in the first place?

Since the gut is the first to “see” incoming food, diet is a huge influence – too much fatty food, not enough fiber, insufficient micronutrients – all can contribute to dysbiosis, which puts your pet at risk for many common ailments, including inflammatory bowel disorders, chronic diarrhea, and even skin conditions and allergies3.

Commercial pet food brands expose your pet to a host of ingredients and additives that just aren’t part of the animal’s natural diet – the diet the species lived on for millennia before humans domesticated them. Without those natural ingredients, pets’ microbiomes risk imbalance, raising levels of bioactive molecules that drive inflammation and gut leak – the underlying factors in all those microbiome-associated disorders.

“Specialty” animal food products often include pre-biotics (food for good microbes) and probiotics (good microbes) that add some support and may tip the balance partway back to a healthier profile. But these don’t sustainably reduce gut-driven inflammation and leak, and none make for a stable, resilient microbiome that can resist disruptions, leaving your pet still prone to developing microbiome-associated disorders.

A whole foods, holistic approach, often including helpful botanicals, is an excellent step towards a healthy pet microbiome. These diets let help keep pets’ microbiomes stable, and adjust to minor disruptions and to keep a healthy microbiome healthy.

But… Microbiomes, like pets and people, are dynamic – constantly exposed to new influences, that can include getting an infection – or being treated with antibiotics – or gobbling up something unhealthy – the list goes on.

PetBiome First™ is the best way to protect a dynamic microbiome, ensuring that it can survive big swings in molecular content, and remain stable and productive for the pet’s long-term health. PetBiomeFirst™ ingredients are whole, natural proteins from hens’ eggs, that support immune function, sweep away dangerous microbial molecules, and suppress the kinds of bacteria that promote inflammation and gut leak. PetBiomeFirst™ is the only active molecular microbiome modulator available.

It’s natural, it’s eggs, it’s goodness in a shell!

And it can be part of your cutting-edge pet nutrition products today.

REFERENCES

1. Liu B, Zhang L, Yang H, Zheng H, Liao X. Microbiota: A potential orchestrator of antidiabetic therapy. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2023;14:973624.

2. Ma KL, Kei N, Yang F, Lauw S, Chan PL, Chen L, Cheung PCK. In Vitro Fermentation Characteristics of Fungal Polysaccharides Derived from Wolfiporia cocos and Their Effect on Human Fecal Microbiota. Foods (Basel, Switzerland). 2023;12(21).

3. Ing NH, Steiner JM. The Use of Diets in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Gastrointestinal Diseases in Dogs and Cats. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2024;1446:39-53.

4. Seo DO, Holtzman DM. Current understanding of the Alzheimer’s disease-associated microbiome and therapeutic strategies. Exp Mol Med. 2024.

5. Wiley CA. Emergent Viral Infections of the CNS. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2020;79(8):823-842.

6. Brumfield KD, Cox P, Geyer J, Goepp J. A Taxonomy-Agnostic Approach to Targeted Microbiome Therapeutics – Leveraging Principles of Systems Biology. Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland). 2023;12(2). doi:10.3390/pathogens12020238.